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 Post subject: Re: Newbie
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:49 pm 
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Posts: 7
Yep,I totally agree about the current state internal politics,stay out of it! Lol
I've watched from the side lines for while and am saddened by squabbling that rears it's ugly head. These are nice folks, but egos get in the way.

If there is to be a 'different' future at Rougham, I was thinking of, I suppose making a private camping party,of it; Weekends where groups could camp up etc. I think the gentle approach may be what is needed to get committee members used to the idea of fresh blood;like you, Becoming involved in the running of the place is a no,no!

They need to make money to run and care for the place so there will always have to be 'public' days. 40's themed shows is an obvious path inc live music etc;If you have ever been to the Twinwood swing fest,you will know what i mean. But imagine doing something like a fund raising baseball match,in the context of the era,i.e. in kit as if waiting for ops, possiblities could open up.

I think,from what i have heard, they are dead scared of an outside group taking over; it's come close. So,like you say,deon't get involved,just use it as a resource,and help restore it's reputation.

I'm prob pi--ing up the wrong tree,but you never know,hey,ho!

On a completely diiferent matter, I have an Eastman B3, made at the time they started on roughwear stuff, fitted with WW2 brass zips, size 42,in mint order, for sale,possibly ;I'm not as slim as I used to be! Any advise on where to start. (Don't say e bay LOL!)

Cheers, Carry on!

Kev


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:07 am
Posts: 161
Hi Kevin,

Please don't take this the wrong way but we've been there and done that etc. We were going to Twinwoods when it was a pile of crumbling huts and started to help restore them, we even had our own that we restoring to its original condition. The owner changed his plans and wanted the buildings so he could use them for other things, no problem, they are his buildings and we parted on amicable terms, he wanted to use the site for other things and now runs a succesful music festival there. For us, the whole point of saving the buildings was to save the site for future generations.

Both Lloydy, Myself and my gang have been around for years and we're more than wise enough to avoid politics like the plague, it serves no purpose, only ends in self destruction and ultimately, ends in everyone losing out.

The Tower museum is a great testimony to the 94th BG but there is so much more that could be done there. We have no intentions of taking over anywhere, I have more than enough commitments elsewhere and for those that know me will now what they are and they are many. But we would be more than willing to support the museum and help to keep the place alive. It does need some 'new blood' as you say and sadly the museum and site doesn't have the best of reputations with some of the American families, I know this as I have had contact from some of them and they would love to see the place grow.

We support many museums here in the UK and they have massive support from the US because of their approach and attitude, 95th and 100th museums are two which leap out at you and we're honoured to work with both of these places and they will go from strength to strength as they both have long term plans in place for the sites.

We'd love to come and play baseball there again, had some of our best weekends at Rougham over the years, the Tower Association only need to ask. But it is funny how people get 'terratorial' over things, myself and one of the guys went over to the technical site one weekend at the request of John Agnew, he'd asked me to conduct a survey of the buildings regarding restoration (I used to be a chippy/Building manager in a former life). Whilst Tony and I were wrestling the 65 year old ivy off the buildings one of the Tower Association boys came over to us, I know him as we'd met a few times before and got on well with him. I went over and said 'Good morning' and asked him how he was/the museum etc. I was met with 'why are you here, you're wasting your time, what do you think you're doing ??' this was before I even had a chance to explain what we were doing there. I had no pre-concieved ideas or expactations of what John had asked us to do, I got to know John well and his character so to speak. But it was clear we were seen as some form of 'threat' which was laughable. I've been reading researching the 8th AAF since I was 7, I'm 40 plus that now like a few others on here, my interest is simply to svae whatever we can before it goes under the bulldozer and Rougham is very much at threat from that at the the minute !

So by all means go and speak to them, we'd come anytime and I apologise if this is very 'honest', its only what I'd say to their faces, I'm happy to speak to people, I do it for the day job ;)

I hope the site goes from strength to strength but things need to happen soon to put things in place before the expansion of Bury takes over.

Regards Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:56 pm
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OK - please don't take this the wrong way, Dave - but I feel compelled to make the following comments:

1) 100th BG Museum future plans - when I spoke this year to the dedicated folk who run this museum, they remained deeply concerned about the long term future in terms of people to take over the reigns. None of them are getting any younger and apparently it is almost impossible to find younger people with the enthusiasm and inclination to make time to get on board. I have no doubt this is the case with many of the museums.

2) John Agnew's Tech Site buildings - it is well known that the Tower Association and John Agnew had at times a very uneasy relationship, and it must surely come as no surprise to anyone knowing this that a representative of the Tower Group should be more than a little alarmed at the sight of a group of highly respected enthusiasts prospecting John's buildings. Such is human nature. Surely any development at Rougham (or any other base) should be a unified effort at that location. That would inevitably mean finding a way to work with others.

3) Steer clear of politics - I'm ashamed to admit I adopt a similar view to you. The problem here though, is that if we all do that then it is obvious that any change (if there is to be change at all) will be slow. I know very little of the folk who run Rougham, although after a most enjoyable evening presentation at the Tower recently by Cliff Hall I could see that they are enthusiastic, despite the inevitability of future development around the site. In one sense maybe they are being prudent in not wasting undue energy fighting such inevitability? With John gone, and believing it was his drive alone which kept the airfield heritage going, I would imagine the prospects of saving - let alone developing - any other remaining WW2 resources at Rougham must be remote (and that's being optimistic...) (I do so hope I'm wrong though).

4) Criticism by American veterans / families of Rougham - I do hope these people have raised their concerns directly with the people who run the Tower. It would not surprise me if they have not, as is by no means unusual for folk to make their frustrations known to someone outside the organisation - often in the hope that that person will pass on their concerns. It would be nice to know if any of these people have made their views known to the Association, or failing that, to hear that you have passed on their detailed concerns. If I was a member of the group running the museum at Rougham I would be extremely hurt to think any veteran or family member might be so disappointed with my efforts that they felt unable for whatever reason to tell me so.

5) Taking over - it would be odd for an itinerant group such as yourselves to feel the need to 'take over' anywhere. Surely your well-deserved success as a re-enacting group is your very mobility and lack of tie to any one location? If you felt the need to establish a 'base camp' then would it not be better to do that as part of a bigger and diverse kind of group - maybe one with more and varied members who would not necessarily be involved with the re-enacting side?

To sum up then - as far as the long-term future of all museums is concerned, it is not a good idea for ANY of us who feel we might have something to offer to just sit back and 'NOT GET INVOLVED'. If that means putting up with a bit of political sh!t then that's the way it has to be. Because if not the future of much of the Mighty Eighth's heritage is not good.

Remember whatever of the above might seem a criticism of you is also a criticism of myself (and many others out there too if we are honest about it) :P

Tony


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:18 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:04 am
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Nice balanced response Tony.

When it comes to it, I'd just like to help things along, Rougham,without the airshows, needs a different kind of future and I hope that will attract all kinds of enthusiasts; re enactors can provide much to bring a place like rougham to life!

Carry on!

Kevin :D


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:07 am
Posts: 161
Hi Tony,

no problem at all buddy and I can see entirely where you are coming from. I'd just like to clarify a few points though on the subjects you raised.

1, We will again be working with the 100th BG museum again next year to support them and we are aware of the need for younger blood at a few of these sites. My point about the 100th was exactly the fact that they recognised this and they are looking at attracting younger members, something which Rougham seems to be lacking on.

2, Nobody needed to be 'alarmed' about anything. I/we would have loved to have helped any of the Rougham tower team on any of the projects up there. I was simply asked to have a look at the buildings by John, this was done as a good will gesture and I had no idea of the 'issues' that had been present until I was later spoken to by others and it became clear there had been problems in the past. Sadly, despite the fact we offered help to all, this was just snubbed as we were seen as some sort of 'threat', I'd love to know what this was based on but as I said I don't do politics and have plenty of other things I/we help out with.

3, Completely agree with you on all of that and Cliff Hall is a gentlemen. I/we'd love to help at Rougham despite all of the above I'm not easily put off and don't adopt a 'give in' attitude, our offer of help still stands as it would to any other 8th AAF museum. But as you rightly say and as I mentioned in a previous post, apathy on the site will just lead to the inevitable expansion of Bury across the site. Things can be done on those buildings now but who is going to take up that mantle ??

4, I cannot comment on whether the families have spoken to the museum about how they feel. This information came about when some of them got in touch as you rightly said, in the hope that 'another' would pass on their message. This wasn't my role but I did encourage them to contact the museum and raise their issues, whether this happened or not I'm not privy too. The fact remains that some of them weren't happy with how things were being run at the museum but this was one for them and not for me to get involved with.

5, RR have never and will never have any intentions of 'taking over' anywhere, that is our whole point. We support as many museums/events as we can and if a 'base' is offered then we'll do our best to use it to show off as much of our kit as we can to the public and the group is open to others who are'nt re-enactors but are collectors/vehicle owners/historians etc. I tick all three of those boxes, I really don't know what else we could've done to have been more supportive to anyone who's invited us to their show/museum etc and people are encouraged to join us if they wish, we are always open to new members.

I will always do my best to see the heritage of the 8th AAF preserved in whatever format I can. RR are already booked to attend three 8th AAF open days/reunions next year so I guess we're doing something right ? Bearing in mind AAF is our 'secondary' portrayal and we'll be in Normandy in 2014 and Czech in 2015, among others, commemorating the 2nd Ranger Battalion which is our core impression. Many of the group are also collectors, myself included as I said and we're always happy to bring those items along to any show too, this includes Rougham.

I wish everyone at Rougham all the greatest of success and I hope it continues to thrive and tell the story of the 94th BG. But as for 'Not getting involved' and 'putting up with shit', well I deal with enough shit and do get very involved with the day job and as for drive, well I'm still doing this bloody silly hobby as well as getting my mother through cancer.

I think Churchill said 'KBO', I fully plan too ;)

Cheers Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:18 am 
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And therein lies the catch - easy for visitors to these USAAF heritage sites to miss the point that folk are giving up their time for free and have to fit in the hassles of work and daily life into the bargain.

Thanks for coming back on those points, and hope all goes well with your mother.

As for a 'base', I can't help feeling that some kind of centre or museum in East Anglia dedicated to telling the story of the USAAF or 8th AF may be viable - not linked to any one specific operational group (BG, FG), but a place where each museum or group could participate and display in addition to their own museums / activities. This is thinking big I know, but just imagine the possibilities! The secret would be in how to harness everyone out there to pull together in a workable way......

Pretty much all of the current dedicated sites are too restricted on buildings / space, and the operators may be reluctant to allow expansion in any direction other than their own specific unit. Something like a generic museum as above would be ideal for the likes of your group - but whether there is someone out there who can pull it all together, and whether it will materialise before we're all too old to participate, is another matter! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Newbie
PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:07 am
Posts: 161
Many thanks Tony.

Completely agree mate with your post. I think we are fortunate in the fact we now have more 8th AAF Unit museums than at any other time which is obviously good for everyone.

Whilst I don't want to rubbish what the IWM have done with The American Air Museum, there is much more can be done and displayed to do with the 8th and this could be done on one of the old stations. I think some of us would come together to make this work, I know there is the drive to see this achieved. Yep, it may be difficult to go with a 'broad brush' and cover the whole of the 8th and to 'overlook' the relevant unit that was based at whatever station was chosen to make this happen but the UK still needs a museum like this. Whilst I'd love to see all the eqpt/items used by the AAF, the project would need to have some 'hands on' displays to show the current and future generations how these men and women lived/fought/died etc

Whilst we preach to the converted on here, many of todays generation have no idea of the impact of the USAAF in England during WW2, look at what is still left dotted about the country even today and after years of demolition of these sites. Good luck to everyone who has and helps out with any of the AAF museums in the UK but do we still need a 'National' Museum ? .

I think we do and if we don't put that time and effort in then we only have ourselves to blame. There is plenty of knowledge and expertise on this very forum alone, let alone the many who don't come on here, so as you rightly say, could this be made to happen ? I'd still like to think so.

Great posts by all, regards,

Dave


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